17 Restaurant Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a restaurant manager, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

If you’re looking for a career in the food service industry, you may want to consider becoming a restaurant manager. Restaurant managers are responsible for the overall operation of a restaurant, including hiring and training employees, ordering food and supplies, and ensuring customer satisfaction.

To be a successful restaurant manager, you need to be able to think on your feet, be organized, and have excellent customer service skills. You’ll also need to be able to answer common restaurant manager interview questions.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of common restaurant manager interview questions and answers. We’ll also provide tips on how to prepare for your interview.

Are you comfortable working with a team of people to manage a restaurant?

Working as a restaurant manager often requires you to work with a team of people. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable working in such an environment and that you have the interpersonal skills necessary for success. In your answer, share two or three examples of how you’ve worked well with others in the past.

Example: “I’m very comfortable working with a team of people. Throughout my career, I’ve always been part of a team, whether it was at my previous job or during one of my internships. During my internship at a local hospital, I worked on a team of five nurses who all had different personalities. We learned to communicate effectively and support each other when we needed help. This experience taught me valuable lessons about teamwork.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a restaurant manager?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities they’re looking for in a restaurant manager. Use your answer to highlight some of the skills and abilities that helped you succeed as a restaurant manager in the past.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities for a restaurant manager is communication. I always made sure my team knew what was expected of them, and I communicated with customers about their orders and any questions they had. Another quality I find essential is organization. I kept detailed records of all sales and inventory so I could make informed decisions when it came time to order more supplies or plan specials.”

How would you deal with a conflict between two of your employees?

As a restaurant manager, you may need to resolve conflicts between your employees. Employers ask this question to see how you would handle such situations and if you have any experience doing so in the past. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to help both parties come to an agreement or compromise.

Example: “I would first listen to each party’s side of the story. Then I would speak with both employees separately to get more information about their situation. After that, I would meet with both employees together again to discuss my findings and offer solutions. If one employee was at fault, I would let them know they were being written up and give them a chance to make things right. If both employees were at fault, I would write them both up and hold a meeting with all staff members to remind everyone of company policies.”

What is your experience with restaurant inventory management?

Inventory management is an important skill for a restaurant manager to have. It’s your job to ensure that the kitchen has enough food and supplies to prepare meals, and you need to know when to order more of something or if you’re running low on inventory. Your answer should show the interviewer that you understand how to manage inventory and can do it effectively.

Example: “I’ve worked in several restaurants where we used different software programs to track our inventory. I find these systems helpful because they allow me to see what items are selling well and which ones aren’t. This helps me determine whether we need to adjust our menu or change some ingredients to make certain dishes more popular.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to deal with a dissatisfied customer.

As a restaurant manager, you will likely have to deal with customers who are unhappy about something. Employers ask this question to make sure that you know how to handle these situations in a professional way. In your answer, try to show the interviewer that you can remain calm and focused while also resolving the situation as quickly as possible.

Example: “I once had a customer come into the restaurant for dinner. They ordered their food and then asked if we could hold it until they were ready to eat so that it would be hot when they got around to eating it. I explained that we couldn’t do that because of health regulations. The customer was upset but understood. When they came back to eat, I made sure to bring them out a fresh meal.”

If we were to visit your restaurant on a typical day, what would we see you doing?

This question is a great way to learn more about the responsibilities of the role. It also helps employers understand what you would be doing on a daily basis and how your day-to-day activities align with their expectations for the position. When preparing for this question, think about what you would do if you were visiting the restaurant during a typical workday. Consider all aspects of the job that you learned from the job description and highlight those duties in your response.

Example: “If I was visiting your restaurant on a typical day, I would likely be greeting customers as they arrived and seated themselves at tables. I would then check in with my team members to see how they were doing and offer any assistance or guidance they may need. After that, I would probably be checking in with managers to see how things are going and make sure everyone is following company policies and procedures.”

What would you do if you noticed one of your servers taking too many breaks or not working hard enough?

An interviewer may ask this question to see how you handle employee discipline. Your answer should show that you can hold your team accountable while still maintaining a positive relationship with them.

Example: “If I noticed one of my servers taking too many breaks or not working hard enough, I would first speak privately with the server and let them know that their performance is affecting the rest of the team. If they don’t improve after our conversation, I would give them a written warning and set a deadline for when they need to improve. If they fail to meet the deadline, I would terminate their employment.”

How well do you understand our menu and the target market we’re trying to attract?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your knowledge of the restaurant’s menu and target market. This can help them determine whether or not you have a good understanding of what they are trying to achieve as a company. When preparing for an interview, it can be beneficial to read through the restaurant’s website and social media pages to get a better idea of their brand.

Example: “I understand that your restaurant is known for its farm-to-table dishes. I also know that you try to attract customers who are looking for healthy meals that are made with fresh ingredients. As someone who has worked in the food industry for many years, I am well aware of how important it is to stay true to your brand. If I were hired as a manager here, I would make sure my staff understood the importance of staying consistent with the quality of our food and service.”

Do you have any experience hiring and training new employees?

Hiring and training new employees is an important part of being a restaurant manager. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with this process, as it can help them determine if you are ready for the role. In your answer, share two or three examples of how you helped someone get started in their job. Explain what steps you took to ensure they were prepared for their first day on the job.

Example: “I’ve hired several people into my previous positions. I always start by making sure that we have open positions available. Then, I create a list of qualifications that I am looking for in candidates. I also reach out to local colleges and organizations to find qualified applicants. Once I receive applications, I review each one thoroughly and set up interviews with the top candidates. After hiring someone, I give them a call to welcome them to the team and let them know when their first day will be.”

When was the last time you attended restaurant management training and what was the focus?

Interviewers ask this question to see if you are committed to your career and want to improve yourself. They also want to know what kind of training you have received in the past, so they can decide whether or not it is relevant to their restaurant. When answering this question, make sure to mention that you are always looking for ways to grow as a manager.

Example: “I attended a two-day training on how to manage employees more effectively last year. I learned some great techniques for motivating my team members and making them feel valued. I try to implement these strategies into my daily interactions with my staff.”

We want to improve our customer service. What would you do to achieve this?

Customer service is an important aspect of any restaurant. Employers ask this question to see if you have a plan for improving customer service at their establishment. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to improve the quality of customer service in your restaurant. Show that you are passionate about making customers happy and satisfied with their dining experience.

Example: “I believe that providing excellent customer service starts with hiring friendly and outgoing employees. I would start by training all new employees on how to interact with customers. I would also make sure that all servers and bartenders know how to handle common complaints. For example, they should know how to handle a situation where a customer wants to return something or get a refund.

Another way I would improve customer service is by implementing a rewards program. This can be as simple as giving out free desserts to loyal customers. It’s a small gesture that shows we appreciate our customers.”

Describe your experience with POS systems and other restaurant management software.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience with technology and how you use it in the workplace. Use examples from your previous job or a time when you used software to help you complete a task.

Example: “I’ve worked in restaurants for five years, and I have used several different POS systems during that time. In my last position, we used a system where we could track customer orders through our phones. This helped me communicate with servers more effectively because they knew exactly what customers were ordering before they arrived at their tables. It also helped us keep track of inventory so we didn’t run out of popular menu items.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You can also share an anecdote about a time when you used one of these skills to help the restaurant succeed.

Example: “I have five years of management experience in the food service industry, which is more than most of your current employees. I am confident that my leadership skills will help me guide your team through any challenges we may face. In addition, I am passionate about customer service and believe I can use my communication skills to resolve any issues with customers or staff members.”

Which restaurant management books or resources have you read and would recommend?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have a passion for learning about the restaurant industry. They want to know that you’re committed to your career and are always looking for ways to improve yourself as a manager. When answering, make sure to mention books or resources that relate directly to managing a restaurant.

Example: “I’ve read several of Steven Raichlen’s cookbooks because I love his recipes and his tips on how to prepare food. He also has some great advice on how to manage a kitchen staff. Another book I would recommend is ‘The Restaurant Manager’s Handbook’ by David J. Greenbaum. This book was very helpful when I first started managing my own restaurant. It gave me a lot of insight into what it takes to be an effective manager.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of restaurant management?

This question can help the interviewer determine your priorities as a manager. It also helps them understand what you value in your role and how you might approach managing their restaurant. When answering this question, it can be helpful to focus on one or two aspects of management that are most important to you personally.

Example: “I think communication is the most important aspect of restaurant management. As a manager, I want my team members to feel comfortable coming to me with questions or concerns. If they don’t know who to go to for answers, then they may not ask at all. This could lead to mistakes or misunderstandings that affect customer service. By encouraging open lines of communication, I can ensure that everyone understands expectations and feels supported.”

How often do you perform inventory checks?

Inventory checks are an important part of a restaurant manager’s job. They ensure that the restaurant has enough food and supplies to serve customers without running out. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you understand how important inventory management is in your role. In your answer, explain why it’s so important and what steps you take to perform these checks.

Example: “Inventory checks are essential for any restaurant manager. I do them at least once per week to make sure we have enough supplies to keep up with customer demand. If there’s ever a shortage, I order more right away so we don’t run out during service. I also use these checks as a way to evaluate my team members’ performance. For example, if someone runs low on ingredients, I’ll talk to them about their mistake and see if they can improve.”

There is a problem with a batch of food that could make customers sick. What would you do?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills. It also shows the interviewer how you would handle an emergency situation in the workplace. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to solve the issue and keep customers safe.

Example: “If I noticed that there was something wrong with a batch of food, I would immediately stop serving it. Then, I would call my team together so we could discuss our options. We would decide whether or not to throw out the entire batch of food. If we decided to serve the food, we would make sure to tell all of our customers about the risks. We would also offer them free meals if they got sick.”


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